Crowded developed cities offer many opportunities for career pursuit, among others, to people living in them. However, like almost anything else, there are two sides of the same coin. Big, crowded cities can become the bearers of great problems, including crime, poverty, and homelessness, not to mention the high greenhouse emissions that citizens of crowded cities have to live with, breathing harmful substances released in the air on a 24/7basis and becoming ill. Apart from that, the more people are gathered in a place, the more susceptible they are in accidents. With the number of drivers on a constant rise the last few years, road accidents have raised a great concern lately. This paper is created for EMS class and will discuss the benefits of air medical services in crowded cities.
According to statistics from the World Health Organization (2013), about 1.2 million people have died because of traffic injuries the world over, in 2010 alone. From these deaths, half were among pedestrians and cyclists, and most of them were men (World Health Organization). A profound 92 percent of traffic deaths occurred in South-East Asia and Africa, among other middle-income countries.
In the United States, which is considered one of the most developed and populated countries, the number of traffic accidents are also high. With high volume traffic and most citizens of driving age owning at least one car, more people get into accidents annually that result either in severe injuries or even fatalities. According to statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau (2012), about 34,000 people were killed, in 2009, in car accidents, and another 2,000 were injured.
Benefits of Medical Air Services
When accidents happen in big cities where too many cars and too many people try to coexist somehow, paramedics and medical help can take quite a lot of time to reach an injured individual. The time lost could be crucial to the injured person’s life. If the ambulance needs to get through an amazing “legion” of cars, precious time is spent, which could cost a life. This is where air medical services step in and provide viable and effective solutions that could contribute a great deal to saving a person’s life, when involved in an accident.
Injury causes sudden changes in the function and systems of the body, mainly due to internal bleeding, and survival is considered time dependent. The first hour of a traumatic incident is significant and medical help should best be provided to within that first hour, which is when most deaths occur (Baxt and Moody). Air medical transfer with a trauma care unit in it is proven to reduce the morbidity and mortality of those with blunt trauma, by approximately 20 percent (Baxt, Moody and Cleveland). Patients with brain injuries run a lower mortality risk by nine percent, and generally, studies have shown that patients that had received air medical services with a trauma unit in them have much lower morbidity rates, compared to ground-transported patients (20 percent versus 54 percent respectively) (Baxt, Moody and Cleveland).
Crowded cities are full of unpredictable incidents that could lead to people getting seriously injured. For example, a building could explode, or a school shooting could occur. Although rare, they could still be seen in big cities. Helipad can quickly transport the injured people from the scene to the nearest trauma centers to get medical help that could save their lives. And, if a trauma occurrence happens in a remote area, like an airport, air medical services can be very effective and allow people in need to receive standard trauma care, on time. Finally, studies have shown that when trauma patients receive air medical services and are transported to a trauma center, they have higher survival rates than those ground-transferred (Powell, Nesdoly, and McLellan).
However, that critical one hour does not only refer to people involved in a traumatic incident. Air medical services can be extremely beneficial to people in need of tertiary care transfer. People under the non-traumatic category can also require immediate transfer to the nearest hospital, due to a serious health condition, such as cardiac problems and neonatal illnesses, among others.
Crowded cities have many accidents annually and people are seriously injured or die. It is estimated that the first hour after an injury is very significant to the patient’s health, and it is the time that should not be spend waiting for ground medical care to arrive. Air medical services provide a solution to the problem and can quickly reach the scene and transport the patient to the nearest medical facility to get immediate care. According to studies, people that have been transported by air medical services have higher chances to survive, compared to those that are ground-transported. Other than people injured in a crowded city, those with serious health problems can also benefit from air medical services and get to the hospital in a timely manner. All in all, the effects of air medical services are multiple and significant, because they can help save people’s lives.
Baxt, W.G., Moody, P. “The Impact of Rotorcraft Aeromedical Emergency Care Services on Trauma Mortality.” JAMA. 1983; 249:3047-51.
Baxt, W.G., Moody, P., Cleveland, H.C., et al. “Hospital-based Rotor- craft Aeromedical Emergency Care Services and Trauma Mortality: a Multicenter Approach,” Ann. Emerg. Med. 1985; 14:859-64.
Powell, D.G., Nesdoly, D., McLellan, H. “The Study of the Impact of Pre- Trauma Centre Transport Modes on Utilization of Hospital Resources and Patient Outcome” presentation at the 1995 Air Medical Transport Conference, Long Beach, CA.
U.S Census Bureau (2012). “Motor Vehicle Accidents-Number and Deaths”. Web. March, 18, 2014 <https://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1107.pdf>
World Health Organization (2013). “Global status report on road safety 2013: supporting a decade of action”. WHO Press. ISBN9789241564564